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Opt Express. 2009 Feb 16;17(4):2530-7.

Preliminary use of nematic liquid crystal adaptive optics with a 2.16-meter reflecting telescope.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Applied Optics, Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun, Jilin, 130033, China.


A nematic liquid crystal adaptive optics system (NLC AOS) was assembled for a 2.16-m telescope to correct for atmospheric turbulence. LC AOS was designed and optimized with Zemax optical software. Second, an adaptive correction experiment was performed in the laboratory to test the performance of the NLC AOS. After the correction, the peak to valley (PV) and root mean square (RMS) of the wavefront were down to 0.2 lambda (lambda=633 nm) and 0.05 lambda, respectively. Finally, the star of Pollux (beta Gem) was tracked using the 2.16-m Reflecting Telescope, and real time correction of the atmospheric turbulence was performed with the NLC AOS. After the adaptive correction, the average PV and RMS of the wavefront were reduced from 11 lambda and 2.5 lambda to 2.3 lambda and 0.6 lambda, respectively. Although the intensity distribution of the beta Gem was converged and its peak was sharp, a halo still existed around the peak. These results indicated that the NLC AOS only partially corrected the vertical atmospheric turbulence. The limitations of our NLC AOS are discussed and some proposals are made.

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